Tokyo: Russia is preparing to implement the kind of electronic surveillance that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden uncovered in the US.
The Communications Ministry and the Federal Counterintelligence Service or FSB have drafted a regulation requiring Internet providers and mobile operators to install equipment allowing spy services to record and store nearly 12 hours of data passing through their networks, the Japan Times reports.
The ministry`s draft directive also orders providers to store identifying information about participants in all data exchanges.
This will include e-mail addresses, Internet addresses, web-chat IDs and the physical locations of people using Skype or Google Hangouts. The equipment is to be installed by July 1 next year.
According to the report, the new directive appears to violate Article 24 of the Russian Constitution, which says personal information cannot be collected and stored without a citizen`s permission.
The country`s existing electronic surveillance system, known as SORM, allows intelligence services to monitor Internet traffic, but does not require providers to record information, the report said.
The FSB and other security services need a court order to access the data they have the capacity to screen. They are not formally allowed to store anything, it added.